teratomarty asked: After years of unwittingly speaking to ghosts and accidentally raising various dead small animals, I've had to confront the fact that I'm probably a necromancer. However, I was brought up Lawful Good, and it's causing some conflicts. Any advice?
While uncommon, it is not unheard of for a gifted necromancer to exhibit some of the traits you describe, even without the benefit of formal training. These odd-ended manifestations can often prove taxing, not only for the unwary necromancer, but also for those around them, as shown in fig. 1 below.
Fig. 1: The unsuspecting necromancer may be caught off guard, contacted by the damned by non-traditional means. Such is the plight of the accidentomancer.
That said, the experiences you’re describing could be just as easily explained by a life of delusion and long-term exposure to some low-level hallucinogenic. I’ve definitely seen a few cases of the old, “I see dead people” turn out to be false alarms. I’d encourage you to glance through the following list to see if you exhibit any of the other features of the budding necromancer:
- Does your spirit occasionally leave your body to liaise with spectral entities whose true form man cannot fully comprehend?
- Have you already gleaned the precise means and date of your death?
- Do you already have a plan in place to cheat that death?
- Have you begun collecting to you various arcane accoutrements that allow you to more easily pierce the veil between this world and the next?
- Do you have an everyday object you keep in a safe place, far from prying eyes, that you have idly considered enchanting for later use as a phylactery?
- Do you sometimes look at yourself in the mirror and catch yourself thinking, “I would look so good if not for all this wretched flesh…”
Remember, it’s not about whether or not you’re a necromancer, it’s about how you necromance. Contrary to popular belief, you can, of course, raise the dead and interrogate spirits without endangering your Lawful Good soul.1 You just need to make sure that you have good intentions going in!
1. This is, of course, a lie. The slow agglomeration of necromantic energies will slowly rot your body and cloud your judgement, but by the time that decay sets in you’ll have already made a thousand minute compromises.
murderandnoir asked: Yo skeledude! I just got word through the ether that the pope is sending a squad of Paladins to your location. You better scrub the summoning circle off the back of that custom ivory laptop and get the hell out of Jersey.
I would like to let it be known to all present that I fear neither pontiff nor paladin. The agents of the papacy have no sway over that which has returned from beyond the eldritch border between this world and the next.
Now that I’ve made that as clear as possible, for reasons of my own (that have nothing to do with exorcisms or radiant damage), it will be necessary for me to go dark for the coming weekend.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be
hiding stalking the shady twilight realm between worlds. You may contact me by venturing to stygian depths beyond the ken of man yourself, or using any of the usual scrying devices.
fusefusefuse asked: First off, thank you for such an inspiring column! This has enticed me and several of my peers to pick up necromancy in our spare time as sort of a hobby to get together for (think 4 college guys banging drums and not being able to play the guitar in someone's garage). Since we're students with real-world obligations and desires, we're not willing to give this world up just yet. So here's my question - What kind of advice would you offer to a group of 4 looking to get into necromancy part-time?
When you first start researching necromancy, it’s easy to feel as though all of the human-skin-bound tomes were made for someone already decades into their dark researches. It’s important to remember that there are books out there made for the “junior necromancer.” That said, just as reading children’s novels in a second language can seem silly, you might feel a little silly reading the necromantic grimoires and books of spells we’d recommend.
We at NecromAnswers have actually put together a series of books that should help you and your friends in your quest for the acquisition of dark powers. The above, My First Necronomicon, should help you find your feet and really get your bearings in the exciting world of beginner-level necromancy. If you find that the earlier chapters are too easy, you can skip on a bit until you get to the raising of small corpses and the preparation of a zombie.
Once you’ve graduated, you can move directly on to Necromancy for Dummies, which should help you to avoid the common missteps of the beginning liche (most of which will crush the very blood from your body and leave you a desiccated ghoul).
If you’ve enjoyed the two e-grimoires above, you can also subscribe to our very own periodical, Good Cryptkeeping.
Anonymous asked: I'm not really one for music preferring to let the wailing of indentured souls fill my lightless day. A friend, recently deceased, asked me to an evening with one Lady Gaga, where I believe the peeress will provide us an evening's musical entertainment. I haven't left my unearthly chapel or surrounds in many moons and am worried that even such nobility, deathly as they usually are, couldn't provide the alluring gravitas to allow for such distractions. How could I rebuke the invitation politely?
There are, I admit, relatively few problems a necromancer encounters that can’t be solved with the liberal application of zombies. In this case, there are two approaches, the first is for use with those from whom you hope not to receive future invitations.
At the last possible moment that one could politely decline an invitation, your host’s doorbell rings. They are unsure if they have company or if you are simply early. On answering the door, they are confronted by a ragged horde, a teeming mass of necrotic flesh attempting to press itself into their home. One of these zombies holds a card informing your host that you will, unfortunately, be unable to attend.
Of course, the above approach won’t work in situations in which you hope not to cause too much offense, but still can’t bring yourself to actually physically show up. In those cases, simply prepare your necrotic rabble by purchasing some hip clothes for them.
Zombies are so very thin and angular that, if properly dressed, they need only mundane cosmetics (and perhaps hairpieces) to transform them into a very fashionable crowd.
Once this crowd is in place, all you need do is give the old scrying ball a glance from time to time while you relax in the relative comfort of your subterranean lair. If anyone asks why they didn’t see you there, you can always claim to have been lost in the crowd of your hosts very fashionable guests. From there, you deflect by asking, “However did you manage to make such wonderful friends?”
In this case, however, I would encourage you to accept the invitation. There can be no surer fact than that a necromancer should want to acquire for himself lands and title. These things entrench you in high society, putting you beyond the lynchings so many necromancers are subject to. Picture the scene:
- He: Good god, I daresay that man who lives in the vast old house on the hill is dead. He has been seen to neither eat nor drink, and I can descry his pallor through his very bones!
- She: Nay, he is the dread lord of house Gaga, and we all know that the aristocracy will have their fads and fashions.
- He: Ah, you are correct. I will down my torch and pitchfork immediately and return to toil in the fields until my corpse becomes fuel for his otherworldly ambitions.
- She: Very good, dear.
Anonymous asked: Do you think Call of Duty Ghosts is a good present to get a young necromancy? The festive season is comign up after all!
While we try to run a generally relaxed show here at NecromAnswers, the truth is that we’re going to be forced to mobilise this time. As a necromancer, I am loathe to brand anything as “forbidden” or “off limits,” but I am asking my fellow dread magi to boycott Activision’s latest artefact.
If you’re like me, you looked at Call of Duty: Ghosts and thought,
“Finally, a company realises how much it stands to gain by appealing to the untapped necromancer-market.”
Unfortunately, I was wrong. I suppose I overestimated Activision in this respect. This isn’t a fair and equal treatment of postmortem culture, this is cultural appropriation. Someone just thought, “What’s scary? Ghosts are scary! Let’s make our game about ghosts!”
Do you see the man on the cover of Ghosts? That’s not even a ghost (nor is it a spirit/spectre/poltergeist/skeleton), that’s just a living man wearing a mask with a ghost on it!
He’s literally in ghostface. If that weren’t bad enough, he then goes on to perpetuate the stereotype that ghosts kill people. He is a ghostface killer!
Having played the game, I can tell you personally that you kill a bunch of people, and not one of them comes back to haunt you. There isn’t the barest hint of ectoplasm. Moreover, the only person who calls ghosts to duty should be a necromancer.
Anonymous asked: I'm a lich past his prime just looking for a way to end it all… but I’m not brave enough to doit. What should I do, who do I turn to?
The first thing you need to do is calm yourself. What you’re going through is not uncommon. Indeed, many liches face what we’ve come to think of as a “mid unlife crises” at some point.1 Whether or not you make it through this difficult time is very much up to yourself, but I’m not going to sit here and tell you what you should do. I’m not in the business of (un)living someone else’s (un)life for them.
What I can do is tell you how to go about whatever decision you’ve come to. If you’ve decided to continue to cling to the last vestiges of life in the ongoing desperate effort to cheat fate then bully for you, we’ll see you at the christmas party. If, however, you’ve decided you’d like to end it all, there are really only two things you can do.
The first is that you invite another necromancer/lich to your house/crypt/tomb/cairn and challenge him to a duel. Winner takes all the major arcana, control of the other’s shambling horde, and so forth. Worst case scenario, you win, in which case you’ve just doubled your income and hopefully come close enough to death to dissuade you from your ridiculous course.
If you ask me, though, the better choice is to slowly cause trouble for a nearby town. Just follow these simple steps:
- Start small; a crop failure here, a child snatched in the night there, it shouldn’t take an awful lot of work before you find yourself so thoroughly detested that the town sends a band of heroes to fight you.
- When the heroes arrived, don’t stress yourself about controlling your minions, let them walk into blasts of disruptive sorcery and shamble at barbarians.
- When, inevitably, the band of heroes reaches your inner sanctum, be sure to appear to have been engaged in some ritual or other. It really doesn’t matter which, but something flashy works best.
- Ensure always that your precious phylactery is somewhere nearby, prominently displayed (this goes against every liche instinct, but that’s sort of the point).
- Put up just enough of a fight that they think their only hope is to go straight for the phylactery in an effort to unbind your soul from the decayed husk that tethers you to this plane.
I’ve seen it done many times. How well it works isn’t a question of whether or not you succeed, but of showmanship.
1. Other sure signs of a mid unlife crises include: hanging around with vampires more, wearing sunglasses to cover your empty eyesockets, carrying a copy of the necronomicon wherever you go, because it “just feels right.”
Anonymous asked: Centuries ago I learned the art of thaumic induced confabulation and have been tricking all my friends into thinking I'm flesh and blood. These past few decades I've started to feel ashamed of my ruse. Should I come out to my friends?
Normally I’d be the first to say,
“You should be true to yourself. You’re a necromancer, let the corruption of your dark magics eat away at the outside as well as the inside. You’re better than this.”
Today though, given that it’s hallowe’en, it’s important to remember that there are times when a necromancer stands to gain an awful lot from pretense. Sometimes, you’ll need to pass unnoticed through the mob of angry townsfolk your work inevitably attracts. At times like this, access to a human-seeming disguise can be remarkably helpful.
As I do not have a man’s skin to hand, I have used this stock photo:
Of course, there’s only so much that the dark arts can achieve. Let’s be realistic here, the average necromancer doesn’t have a great handle on how a living human thinks and acts. It’s not enough that you look the part, you also have to behave like a living human:
- Food: Remember food? It’s ridiculous, forcing matter into your gaping maw so that you can break it down for energy? No thanks, but humans love the whole disgusting business. Talk loudly about how much you like “eating.”
- Drink: As above. Preposterous.
- Blood: It’s crazy, the living are just full of blood. They’re like big bags of it. They do not like talking about it, nor do they like if you offer them some, perform rituals with it, or get it all over their shoes.
- Hexes/Curses: While you might think you’ll get away with it on hallowe’en, it’s best to steer clear.
- Animal hide: Suitable for boots, but not books.
- Clothes: Yes
- Work: Yes, it is acceptable to excuse your pallor by saying that you work nights. No, it is unacceptable to excuse your pallor by saying that you work grave sites.
- Shaving: ??? [you’re on your own here, as a committed liche, I only really use a razor for blood magics]
REMEMBER: If you are ever in any doubt, you can always just say, “Oh well, that’s life.” The living love that shit.
Anonymous asked: HOW CAN WE STOP THESE FAKE POSEURS FROM DESTROYING REAL NECROMANCY?
This is a fine question, and one that gets under the skin and channels directly to the still-beating heart of the matter.
I’ve long supposed that a rise the rise in the number of so-called “ironic” necromancers would result in a loss of the cultural cachet we have fought for so long to cultivate. There was a time when the necromancer was not a figure to be avoided and feared by the average villager.
Look at that, it’s disgusting. They’ve forsaken the tomes of secrets accumulated over centuries by necromasters in favour of a defibrillator in their constant quest to get in on the next big thing before everyone else. No self-respecting necromancer would raise a corpse before it was a week in the ground, and yet we see these Johnny-come-latelys standing around in the morgue so that they can be there as soon as the bodies hit the slab.
It’s embarrassing. Where is the love, the craft of the thing?
Of course, your question is about something worse still,
HOW CAN WE STOP THESE FAKE POSEURS FROM DESTROYING REAL NECROMANCY?
My issues with necromantic poseurs notwithstanding, if there are also fake poseurs out there then perhaps we’ve already lost.